A conceptual model for the implementation of trade related community wide electronic data interchange (EDI) in Hong Kong

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A conceptual model for the implementation of trade related community wide electronic data interchange (EDI) in Hong Kong

 

Author: Kwok, Chi-keung Andrew
Title: A conceptual model for the implementation of trade related community wide electronic data interchange (EDI) in Hong Kong
Degree: M.Sc.
Year: 1994
Subject: Electronic data interchange
Business -- China -- Hong Kong -- Communication systems
Business -- China -- Hong Kong -- Data processing
Hong Kong Polytechnic -- Dissertations
Department: Multi-disciplinary Studies
Pages: 99 leaves : ill. ; 31 cm
Language: English
InnoPac Record: http://library.polyu.edu.hk/record=b1158274
URI: http://theses.lib.polyu.edu.hk/handle/200/1902
Abstract: The expression Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) is not absolutely defined in any formal or legalistic way. It is widely understood to mean "the transfer of structured data, by agreed message standards, from computer application to computer application, by electronic means without human intervention." Currently, EDI is being used in over 50 industries including transportation, grocery, retailing, healthcare, warehousing, banking and others. EDI is also being used by the federal government over the world. Most of the EDI applications in overseas countries use third party networks for communications and adopt X.400 or UN/EDIFACT as the communication protocols. In the past years, EDI has gained much momentum and is gradually becoming the way to conduct business in international trade. It is also known that most of Hong Kong major competitors in the Asia Pacific regions have already made an important head start towards development of EDI so as to enhance their competitive advantage in the international trade forum. Hong Kong, probably more than anywhere else, lives by international trade. To remain competitive and to continue to stay within the top league of the world's trading economies, it becomes necessary to introduce and implement this emerging technology in the trading community. In mid 1991, SPEDI (Shared Project for EDI) report (joint venture study by the Government and Tradelink) proposed a HK$900 million project for implementing EDI service at community level in Hong Kong. However, the proposal does not present a viable commercial position to the Government and the Tradelink members. In addition, there are numbers of constraints to affect the penetration rate. Some of them are: (a) The Hong Kong business environment is characterised by a very large number of very small business. (b) Chinese EDI is not ready for implementation. (c) English is mainly used for business in the larger companies. (d) Information technology utilization rate for the small company is low. (e) Not all of their trading partners use EDI. Hence, they would have difficulties in handling dual system (EDI and paper). In view of this, it is considered that it is necessary to explore whether there is a better alternative for the implementation of a community wide EDI in Hong Kong. In this paper, such an alternative is worked out. The basic philosophy for developing the alternative are: (a) Government transactions should be undertaken by Government departments; (b) commercial activities should be performed by the private sector. (c) Government should not compete with private sector. (d) a monopoly situation should not be considered in a competitive business environment. With this philosophy, a Government EDI Co-ordinate Office and a Government Gateway is proposed. The major role of the Co-ordinate Office are to co-ordinate the development and provision of all EDI services to government departments, to support the development of technical issues and legal framework and to promote the use of EDI in the community. Regarding the Government Gateway, it mainly provides the communication facilities to handle EDI messages relating to Government transactions. In order to evaluate the requirements with acceptable performance of the Government Gateway, an analytical model for the Gateway is worked out in this paper. This model is then further validated by means of the simulation technique. In this paper, two common communication standards for EDI viz: X.400 and EDIFACT are reviewed. As EDIFACT has been used for international trade related EDI messages, it should therefore be suitable for Hong Kong to adopt. At last, the legal requirement such as signature, data protection, security, etc, in transacting business with EDI in Hong Kong are identified. Possible ways for making legal in Hong Kong are also suggested.

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